Got a chance to ride Storm Runner for the first time last Saturday. Very nice day at Hershey, such the great park. Storm Runner answers the question Xcelerator, Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka neglects to answer. What happens after the first hill? The answer is- lots of very great things.
My theory is that we may have seen all we are going to see of the traditional hypercoaster. I believe hypercoaster construction has been placed on hold, and that thrill parks have pulled hypercoasters from expansion plans to make room for taller, longer, wilder versions of the Storm Runner.
Given the choice parks will want to install the next generation of rides. Technology is changing things so fast that Millennium Force, Nitro, Titan may become ‘old school,’ no longer cutting edge.
These Intamin launchers can do just about anything, can be woven into virtually any location while skipping lift hills completely. How can hypercoasters compete?
Take a look around, this may be all we are going to see of hypercoasters before Intamin launchers become the new standard.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hypercoasters. It's just that we may be witnessing an end of an era and the start of new coasters that I can't begin to imagen.
Incidentally Storm Runner does not run during storms, a case of false advertisement. *** Edited 5/31/2005 1:38:54 AM UTC by rc-madness***
I think the only reason why Hypercoaster sales have slowed is because most parks that want them already have them. At the moment, there is one huge difference between the rockets and most hypers: reliability. While Storm Runner (and the ones overseas) seem to be much more reliable, Intamin doesn't have the best track record. A good, reliable Morgan or B&M Hyper (and for the most part Intamin) fills its niche in a park's coaster lineup quite nicely.
Many parks like Paramount's Carowinds lack a coaster even 150 feet tall. I think a hyper or giga would please people looking for the higher and faster experience, while maintaining a good level of reliability.
Even with all of that in mind, Kingda Ka is evidence that people still do like the "taller and faster" side of coasters. I don't think we have seen the end of that trend, but it certainly will slow due to the reliability of the two current giants.
I just don't see the rockets being the "ultimate ride" that you apparently do. Also, a little spacing in your post would make it a WHOLE lot easier to read :)
Well I've always felt that what would make rocket coasters hot is the fact that now parks that don't have the space for a traditional hypercoaster, can now build high speed coasters and fit them almost anywhere. Now of course they're popping up almost everywhere and I can see why. Unfortunately, I think your right, we may have seen the end of the traditional hyper, which must seem like oversized, bulky wastes of space to most parks now.
I think you made a good point. I can see it happening already, as you have said. Intamin launched rollercoasters provide an awesome adreniline rush, generally have a high capacity, and can be made to fit almost anywhere. I do think, however, that parks will hold on to their hypercoasters because they still do provide the classic chain lift, great airtime, and other good characteristics. I don't think any parks will be demolishing their hypercoasters in the near future.
Not suggesting hypercoasters will be torn down. They will become classics steelies. It is just impressive watching how quickly technology is transforming future attractions.
I feel Storm Runner gives us a better indiction as to what type of attractions Intamin has in store. Dragster and Kingda Ka is impressive, but ten years from now we'll be asking: Why all the hype for a one hill wonder?
King's Island and SFOG are the next big parks due for something tall and impressive. I'd be surprised if they aren't already laying out plans with Intamin. The question will be how Intamin handles demand. They don't seem to take on more than one project per construction season.
They don't take on more than one project per season? What do you mean? There are around four or five rocket coasters opening this year alone! In fact, I can't remember the last time Intamin only had one project open in one year. Maybe 1999 with SRoS at SFDL...after that Intamin went nutso.
And about the question of "Why all the hype for a one hill wonder" ... because they go 420+ ft in the air and launch at 120mph. For true height and speed freaks, that will (most likely) NEVER get old. I know it won't for me.
Look at the time that elapsed between Desperado and S:ROS and you'll see that hyper coasters are built in cycles. When the current wave of gimmick coasters lose their appeal, parks will once again turn their attention to rides that are more timeless.
^ If only Paramount Parks followed that philosophy at Carowinds. We just got a used flying coaster (which admittedly is better now), so we should get a timeless hyper ala Magnum! Hah, I can dream can't I?
P.S. I have to say the addition of PKI's flyers this year is better than almost any coaster they could have added.
I'm not sure that SFOG will ever be able to put in an extremely tall coaster b/c of their proximity to Charlie Brown airport (and yes, that is the name of the airport). Someone else here might know more about that. I think it's been discussed here before.
Its a great point, esp. given Kingda's recent difficulty. Chain lifts are a lot more reliable. Though Storm Runner seems to have avoided difficulties.
Since Nitro, hypercoaster construction seems to have paused. Parks talk about building them, but then the plans fall through. Mexico's Superman finally got built last year after sitting unconstructed in the park's backyard for two years. Don't parks seem to be waiting to build a next generation ride?
All these are good points. I thought that B&M said that they are not going to try anything new or make newer coasters because they focus more on the ride instead of being better, faster, or taller. But then again, Morgan Hypers aren't being popped up either with new technology. There still using the same old technology from when Wild Thing opened at Valley Fair. Like RollrCoastrCrazy said, most parks already have them, or there is a height limit that won't allow them. And some, can't even afford them.
I bet that Storm Runner is so reliable because it's located in one of the best amusement parks in the world as far as operations and maintenance are concerned. While an Intamin Rocket is an Intamin Rocket, I'm sure that the people taking care of it has something to with reliability.
But then again, Cedar Fair is very respectable as far as operations go, too. Which further adds to the mystery...